SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Opening Segment – MISS: There was some good mic work in the opening segment and it did set up the big main event of Big E & Drew McIntyre vs. The Usos. But, I had some issues with it. I want to see a serious Big E which he has mostly shown in recent weeks as the WWE Champion. But here, he had to get in a goofy line about his nipples. That took me out of the moment as it was such an eye rolling comment. Then McIntyre had to reference it too. The Usos were good, but why were they on Raw? The draft doesn’t go into effect for a few weeks, but they were Smackdown wrestlers already, they were drafted to stay on Smackdown, so how are they on Raw? The fact that it isn’t even a story goes to show how little WWE cares about logic. And, I don’t really want to see opponents as partners and we were already going to get that with the women’s tag match later in the show. Also, the E/McIntyre backstage encounter later in the show with the Mega Powers hand shake was very annoying.
Woods vs. Ricochet – HIT: I appreciate the fact that Xavier Woods has made winning the King of the Ring tournament seem very important to him. There was no drama in this match as nobody thought that Ricochet was going to win. But, at least it was a good 11 minute match. Will Ricochet mean anything on Smackdown? No.
Ali & Mansoor vs. Hurt Business – MISS: It was good to see Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander get a win, but it should have come last week. And I don’t mind seeing Mustafa Ali & Mansoor take another loss, as any chance of them building towards being a legit winning tag team had long passed and WWE might as well break them up to hopefully move them onto something meaningful as singles acts. The issue here is that the match barely lasted a minute. Even a squash of a jobber should last a little longer than this. These two teams could put on a great match if given time. But, that just isn’t important to WWE.
Women’s Tag Promos – HIT: It was good to see Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bianca Bel Air and Sasha Banks all getting a chance to cut promos about their tag match. It was a good way to promote that big match throughout the show. Each of them performed well.
Riddle vs. Omos – MISS: So, was the plan here to allow Matt Riddle to get the crap beat out of him by Omos just so Randy Orton could once again hit AJ Styles with an RKO? That was a terrible plan. Riddle has been far less entertaining lately than he was in the early days of the RKBro team. This didn’t make the babyfaces look good. Riddle is so talented that it is disappointing to see him getting squashed by Omos.
Lashley – HIT: This was a good promo from Bobby Lashley about his upcoming No Holds Barred match against Goldberg. The only problem with it was that he had to address the idiotic statements from Goldberg about murder. He did a nice job addressing those comments which shouldn’t have been part of this feud, but they are. Overall, this was well done, but I don’t care about the match at all.
Hardy vs. Theory – MISS: As soon as the 24/7 geeks came out and interrupted this match, the match was going to be a Miss. They did a nice job of reintroducing Austin Theory last week. They had a chance to let him show off what he can do in the ring this week. I get having to go to the Jeff Hardy match right away since Hardy was drafted to Smackdown. They clearly wanted to give Theory the win while protecting Hardy. But, you end up making Hardy look bad for getting distracted and this didn’t make Theory look good either. Throw in the idiots running around after Reggie and a 2 minute match time, and it was a big Miss.
Kingston vs. Mahal – MISS: It is sad that Jinder Mahal is given 9 minutes for a match, while the women in the Queen’s Crown tournament are given about 2. Mahal can’t go 2 minutes into a match without slapping on a boring rest hold. Mahal taking losses as a jobber is the only role he should have. He should not advance in a tournament. They got fans excited about the chance of seeing Woods take on Kofi Kingston in the next round, but Kingston lost in a boring match to a boring wrestler. There might be good storyline reasons for not going to Woods vs. Kingston, but pick someone else to beat him. Mahal vs. Woods doesn’t get me excited at all.
Lynch & Flair vs. Bel Air & Banks – MISS: The pettiness of these four women made them look terrible. It never made sense whey this match would be made in the first place. What did Adam Pearce think was going to happen? WWE promoted this match, but didn’t deliver. I know the match happened eventually after the brawl, but it lasted less than 5 minutes before a non-finish. I get why Bel Air and Banks wouldn’t get along, but this made them look small. This didn’t make them look like the stars that they are. I don’t get why Charlotte and Becky would start brawling before the match either. I get that they don’t like each other, but this isn’t a case where them fighting made any sense. Flair was going to do a moonsault to the outside onto Lynch and Bel Air, yet Banks stopped her from doing it. Why? Why wouldn’t she let Flair injure her two opponents at Crown Jewel? This was such a mess. It made them all look bad.
Over Scripting Smith – MISS: There were multiple times when Jimmy Smith recited a scripted transition from what had just happened in the ring, to some type of video package. They were awkward. As an announcer, he should not know what is going to happen in the ring. But, he clearly had to know what was going to happen in the ring to have such a pithy statement ready to go to transition to the video replay. It was so unnatural. The worst one came when Smith jumped the gun and made a comment about having a plan just like Randy Orton had a plan last week before the replays of the match had happened. He made the comment, then sat silently as Corey Graves and Byron Saxton talked through the match replays, and then Smith had to restate his scripted transition to the Orton having a plan video.
Big E & McIntyre vs. The Usos – MISS: This was a perfectly Hit worthy match in terms of wrestling action. That is to be expected given the talent in the ring. The problem is WWE booked the ending of the match to be too similar to the women’s tag match earlier in the show. At least the Usos got along. I get that WWE wanted to create tension between Big E and McIntyre going into their WWE Title match in a few weeks. But like the women’s tag match, this made the two supposed babyfaces look petulant. Why should I cheer for either of them?
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at email@example.com.